Starring: Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Goldblum
Directed by: Roger Michell
Synopsis: A British couple return to Paris many years after their honeymoon there in an attempt to rejuvenate their marriage.
Ah Paris, the city of love. Or in the case of Le-Weekend, the city of love/hate/love/hate/love.
The film tells the story of Nick and Meg, a couple who get the Eurostar to Paris to celebrate their thirtieth wedding anniversary. They appear, at the beginning, to be like any older couple who have been married for that long. They bicker, they laugh together and they tolerate each other. As the film moves along we discover that both Nick and Meg have hidden regrets and resentments and aren’t perhaps as happy as they should be.
Jim Broadbent is always watchable in my opinion, and he is on good form here as the over cautious, pedantic but down trodden Nick. Lindsay Duncan is equally impressive as his wife Meg, who can barely hide her disdain at what’s become of her once exciting, talented husband. She is a carefree, free spirit who wants to enjoy herself whilst she can. He is a slave to money, worrying about how to pay for the expensive hotel she wants to stay in, worried about their new bathroom, and their deadbeat son. He reveals that he has been sacked by the university where he works. She reveals she wants to quit her job and start a fresh, possibly even without him.
That is kind of the trouble with Le-Weekend, we never really know where we stand with Nick and Meg. Do they love each other, hate each other? They seem to change their minds so often it’s hard to tell. Don’t get me wrong though, the fact that it was so well acted made the film more than the sum of it’s parts. Despite it being so downbeat by the end that it was almost on the floor, I still would have happily watched these two trading laughs and abuse in equal measure. It was a thoroughly compelling look at a couple who have stayed together for so long that they themselves don’t even know why any more.
As said before, Broadbent and Duncan were fantastic, Goldblum is always nothing if not interesting and the shots of Paris were nice. The film ended on a happy note, and there are some funny moments within the film, but it does go down some dark roads so I can see why certain people would have not responded well to it. A romantic weekend in Paris with Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan it isn’t quite.